Secret Final Cut Pro X 4: Windows, Tools & Audio

User Interface

In the Final Cut Pro/Contents/Frameworks/LunaKit.framework there is evidence that the window layouts were or will be more flexible than they are in version 10.0:

(Name your current layout:)
_Pro Text Field Cell (Untitled)
_Pro Push Button (Cancel)
_mPro Text Field Cell (Different window layouts can be saved to suit different working environments or styles.)
_Array Controller^Manager Window
_KPro Static Text (Use the current layout as a basis to create a new layout.)

Events are known as organizers internally:

/* Organier open bin in new window */
“FFOrganizerOpenBinInNewWindow” = “Open %@ in New Window”;
“FFOrganizerOpenBinsInNewWindows” = “Open Bins in New Windows”;

from Final Cut Pro / Contents / Frameworks / Flexo.framework / Versions / A / Resources / en.lproj / FFLocalizable.strings:

Not all tools listed are active yet.

/* Tool names */
“FFSelect” = “Select”;
“FFRangeSelection” = “Range Selection”;
“FFAnchor” = “Connect”;
“FFBlade” = “Blade”;
“FFTrim” = “Trim”;
“FFCrop” = “Crop”;
“FFDistort” = “Distort”;
“FFRetime” = “Retime”;
“FFBlade All” = “Blade All”;
“FFHand” = “Hand”;
“FFZoom” = “Zoom”;
“FFRectangle” = “Rectangle”;
“FFEllipse” = “Ellipse”;
“FFBezier” = “Bezier”;
“FFXSpline” = “B-Spline”;
“FFRectangleMask” = “Rectangular Mask”;
“FFEllipseMask” = “Elliptical Mask”;
“FFBezierMask” = “Bezier Mask”;
“FFXSplineMask” = “B-Spline Mask”;
“FFPivot” = “Connection point”;
“FFPlacement” = “Position”;
“FFTransform” = “Transform”;
“FFTransform2D” = “Transform 2D”;
“FFTransform3D” = “Transform 3D”;
“FFAnimationPath” = “Animation Path”;
“FFMotionPath” = “Motion Path”;
“FFKenBurns” = “Ken Burns”;
“FFText” = “Text”;
“FFNone” = “None”;
“FFTakeSnapshot” = “Take Snapshot”;

The Connect tool might be the equivalent Command-Option clicking within a connected clip to move the anchor.

There isn’t a Blade All tool yet. The Rectangle, Ellipse, Bezier and B-Spline tools are distinct from their Mask equivalents here.

Once the Transform 3D tool is available, the Transform panel in the video inspector will probably be renamed Transform 2D. I wonder what the distinction is between the Animation Path tool vs. the Motion Path tool.

Here are some commands from the FFLocalizable.strings file that aren’t documented yet:

/* Undo Labels */
“FFMake Note” = “Make Note”
“FFAddAudioVoiceoverFile” = “Add Voiceover to Timeline”;
“FFAdd Effects” = “Add Effects”;

“FFLiftAndStampCorrectionFromEditFormat” = “Copy Correction From Edit %@ Back”;
“One” = “One”;
“Two” = “Two”;
“Three” = “Three”;

“FFAdd Clips to Event” = “Add Clips to Event”;
“FFTransitionNoSourceType” = “Toggle transition to/from black”;

Final Cut Pro X is designed to display sizes for very large files and storage spaces:

/* Unit strings */
“FFByteString” = “B”;
“FFKiloByteString” = “KB”;
“FFMegaByteString” = “MB”;
“FFGigaByteString” = “GB”;
“FFTeraByteString” = “TB”;
“FFPetaByteString” = “PB”;
“FFExaByteString” = “EB”;
“FFZettaByteString” = “ZB”;
“FFYottaByteString” = “YB”;

Wikipedia: “The combined space of all computer hard drives in the world does not amount to even one yottabyte.”

Some objects are described, but aren’t yet visible

“FFDropFolderObjects” = “Drop Items”;
“FFStabilizationMaximumZoom” = “Max. Zoom”;
/* FFOrganizerFilmlist */
“filmlist cluster name template” = “%@ (%d)”;

/* iSight Status */
“FFMIOiSightStatusIrisClosed” = “Iris Closed”;
“FFMIOiSightStatusLidClosed” = “Lid Closed”;
“FFMIOiSightStatusBusy” = “Busy”;

/* Compound Clip Names */
“FFMultiCamClip” = “MultiCam Clip”;

/* Timeline Marker Contextual Menu */
“FFTimelineMarkerModify” = “Modify Marker”;
“FFTimelineMarkerCut” = “Cut Marker”;
“FFTimelineMarkerCopy” = “Copy Marker”;
“FFTimelineMarkerDelete” = “Delete Marker”;
“FFTimelineMarkerMakeToDo” = “To Do”;
“FFTimelineMarkerMakeCompleted” = “Completed”;

The Final Cut Pro / Contents / Frameworks / Flexo.framework / Versions / A / Resources / en.lproj / FFColorCubeScopeModule.nib file might support a 3D scope for colour correction – as seen in Apple Color:

Editable Audio Effects

If video effects can be implemented using Motion 5, will a future version of Final Cut include audio effect editing?

Audio effects are implemented in audio.effectBundle files. They are encoded in AXEL, Apple’s new XML flavour. Like Motion templates, they allow effect designers to combine plug-ins and create presets. Here are some selected lines from the Car Radio audio effect (stored as Final Cut Pro / Contents / Frameworks / Flexo.framework / Versions/ A / Resources / Effect Bundles / Car

The UI within Final Cut for that effect looks like this:

Unlike Motion effects, audio effects can have presets pop-up menus that modify values for other controls. In this case, choosing the Normal preset sets the Amount slider to 50.0 (as well as changing settings within Fat EQ and Overdrive. If you look at the code above, you’ll see that the car radio effect also uses an instance of the Channel EQ as well as the two visible audio plug-ins.

How will more of these effects be created? A future version is most likely because the ‘OZone Markup Language’ flavour of XML used here is the format Motion stores its files.

More Audio

Various possible audio channel configurations are encoded in Final Cut Pro / Contents / Frameworks / Flexo.framework / Versions / A / Resources / en.lproj / FFAudioChannelLayouts.xml. Each clip can have any one of these audio configurations. Rick Young has written about them on his blog.


      Sub (LFE)
      Right Surround
    Left Surround


      Dual Mono
    Reverse Stereo


      Three Mono
    Left, Right, Center


      Four Mono
      Two Stereo
    Left, Right, Center, Surround


      5 Mono
    Surround 5.0


      6 Mono
      3 Stereo
      Stereo + 2 Mono + Stereo
    Surround 5.1


      7 Mono
    Surround 6.1


      8 Mono
      4 Stereo
      Surround 5.1 + Stereo
    Surround 7.1


      12 Mono
      6 Stereo
    Dual Surround 5.1

Check out my free effects and articles on my Final Cut Pro X home page.

  1. There is a certain point where scientific publications inspire science fiction authors to ‘take a pen for a walk’, which, in time, enthuse scientists to pursue these fanciful lines of enquiry, and suddenly we’re into nanotubes.

    Are these entrails the sign of ‘ideal third-party opportunities’? Of course they are. But Apple has to help these third parties, and somehow I think that help is a little hard to come by.

    • Alex said:

      Many developers want to include custom controls in their FxPlug 2 plug-ins. The controls can appear in Motion 5, but it is hard to make them available in Final Cut Pro X as it is.

      They’re getting FxPlug 2 help, but no API news yet. Perhaps once Lion comes out…

  2. Nick Toth said:

    Alex – do you see anything that might indicate the use of an iPad as a controller i.e.: as an audio mixer panel or to control the Color Board?

    • Alex said:

      No, but there many places where that sort of code could be hidden or not be recognised by me.

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